The 2011 National Racing Calendar extends deeper into the fall, includes UCI-sanctioned races and shuffles the dates for several races.
- Mar. 30 Apr. 3 Redlands Bicycle Classic Stage Race Redlands, CA
- Apr. 9 Sunny King Criterium Crit Anniston, AL
- Apr. 16 Tour of the Battenkill Road Race Cambridge, NY
- Apr. 27 May 1 SRAM Tour of the Gila Stage Race Silver City, NM
- Apr. 30 May 8 USA CRITS Speed Week Omnium GA, SC
- May. 1 Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling Crit Dana Point, CA
- May 5 8 Joe Martin Stage Race p/b Nature Valley Stage Race Fayetteville, AR
- May. 14 Tour de Grove Crit St. Louis, MO
- May. 21 22 Wilmington Grand Prix Omnium Men, Crit W Wilmington, DE
- May. 30 Tour of Somerville Crit Somerville, NJ
- June 2 Base Camp Intl. p/b Verizon Wireless Crit Basking Ridge, NJ
- June 5 Liberty Classic, Philadelphia, PA
- June 10 12 Tulsa Tough Omnium Tulsa, OK
- June. 11 12 Air Force Cycling Classic Omnium Arlington, VA
- Jun. 15 19 Nature Valley Grand Prix Stage Race Minneapolis, St. Paul, MN
- Jun. 25 Glencoe Grand Prix p/b AT&T Crit Glencoe, IL
- June 26 Manhattan Beach Grand Prix Crit Manhattan Beach, CA
- July 3 Fitchburg Longjo Classic Crit Fitchburg, MA
- July 5 10 Tour de Toona Stage Race Altoona, PA
- July 16 Boise Twilight Crit Boise, ID
- July 19 24 Cascade Classic Stage Race Stage Race Bend, OR
- July 27 31 Tour de Nez Stage Race Reno, NV
- Aug. 5 7 Tour of Elk Grove Stage Race Elk Grove, IL
- Aug. 6 Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium Crit Charlotte, NC
- Aug. 20 Grand Cycling Classic Crit Grand Rapids, MI
- Aug. 21 Evanston Grand Prix Crit Evanston, IL
- Aug. 27 28 Chris Thater Memorial Crit Binghamton, NY
- Sept. 2 5 Labor Day Omnium Omnium GA, SC
- Sept. 17 Univest Grand Prix Road Race Souderton, PA
- Oct. 2 CapCrit p/b WCSA Crit Washington, DC
Those are some of the changes made to the NRC, which USA Cycling released Wednesday.
“We brought back some races that haven’t been on the calendar for a while and we’ve also added some brand new criteriums, including Glencoe and Evanston,” said USA Cycling’s director of national events, Micah Rice.
Races including Tour de Grove, Tulsa Tough and the Tour of Elk Grove will find new slots on the calendar. The Tour de Toona, which has fallen victim to financial difficulties in recent years, returns to the NRC as a five-day stage race and moves from September to early July. Other changes of note include the Univest Grand Prix’s move later to September 17 (it was Sept. 11 this year) and the CapCrit’s October 2 date. It is the first time in a few years that NRC racing will carry through into October.
“We think it’s going to be a little bit better travel flow in past years — not perfect, but we tried to improve it a little bit,” said Rice. “I’ve run it by a couple of teams and it’s been met with mostly positive comments.”
UCI-sanctioned races at a category 1.2 and 2.2 level will be added to the NRC next year. That will include events like the Tour of the Battenkill, Tour of the Gila (an NRC mainstay that is moving up to UCI for next year) and Univest. It will not include the Tour of Utah, Amgen Tour of California or the Quiznos Pro Challenge, which have a higher UCI category.
Notable conflicts on the calendar include the Air Force Classic and Tulsa Tough, which will overlap for a second consecutive year, and the Tour of Elk Grove and Presbyterian Hospital Invitational, two races that traditionally attract many of the same riders.
“All conflicts are going to be reasonably hard to alleviate,” said Rice. “At times teams are going to have to make decisions, but that’s nothing new.”
The 2011 calendar does improve travel flow for U.S. teams, one of the chief complaints in recent years. While the first month of racing is scattered between Redlands, California, and Cambridge, New York, from there the peloton will make its way through the Midwest and East Coast in June and July before a West Coast run in late July with the Cascade Classic and Tour de Nez. The season will close with two months of racing east of the Mississippi River.
Update: Liberty Classic added to the list
USA Cycling communications director Andrea Smith has told VeloNews that the federation this morning added the Liberty Classic to the 2011 National Racing Calendar. The event, a mainstay of the national series, was originally left off the schedule due to its 1.1 ranking on the UCI women’s elite calendar. When building the NRC, the scheduling team did not include any .1 events on the men’s or women’s calendar.
According to Smith, the federation reconsidered the omission after releasing the schedule Wednesday because .1 rated women’s events do not limit domestic team participation as they do in men’s racing. The Liberty Classic, which was won for the fourth time by Ina Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) in 2010, will take place on June 5, 2011. The event is the companion to the men’s TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship.
The 30 events on the 2011 National Racing Calendar will offer a total purse of over $1 million.